Approaching Age 65? Remember Medicare.

Approaching age 65? Remember Medicare.

Medicare begins for most people at age 65, earlier if receiving disability. If you receive Social Security benefits, expect a Medicare card and instructions several months in advance of age 65 from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Part of the Department of Health and Human Services, CMS is the agency that administers the Medicare program.

If not yet receiving benefits, you must take action yourself to enroll. Go here to learn more about enrolling in Medicare without receiving Social Security benefits.

An easy online Medicare application and more information is on the Social Security website at www.socialsecurity.gov/medicare/ or you can make an appointment to complete the application with a Social Security representative. Enroll two to three months before the month you reach age 65. Allow extra time if choosing to make an appointment.

If currently employed with work related medical insurance, discuss Medicare with your employer and insurance company. You will probably want to enroll in Medicare Part A (Hospital), which does not have a premium, but you might not yet need Part B (Medical), which has a monthly premium. In addition, if you have a Health Savings Account (HSA) ask how enrolling in Medicare will affect you. Social Security employees cannot advise you about these topics.

Medicare coverage details and costs are on the Medicare website, www.medicare.gov.

Before reaching age 65, you will receive lots of mail from private insurance companies wanting to sell you private policies to supplement Medicare. What you do with these advertisements is completely up to you. If interested, do your research. Social Security personnel cannot recommend any private insurance coverage.

Here is a 1968 Medicare poster:

Medicare poster